The government of Bihar has ordered all schools, colleges and movie theaters to remain closed until March 31 as a preventive measure to contain the spread of new coronavirus cases in India.
On Friday, Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar held an emergency meeting to review the state government’s readiness to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. As a result of the meeting, it was decided that all schools and colleges, both private and public, as well as all coaching institutes would remain closed until March 31.
The government also decided to shut down theaters statewide for the same period.
As of March 13, a total of 75 people have tested positive for COVID-19 (the disease associated with the novel coronavirus) in India. Of the 75 cases, three were released while one died. The others are treated.
Informing the media of the decisions taken at the meeting, Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar said that to date 142 patients have been kept under observation in Bihar, of whom 73 have been released after their samples tested negative for COVID-19.
“The situation resulting from the coronavirus epidemic is serious and the state government has decided to close all schools, colleges and movie theaters until March 31,” said Deepak Kumar.
He said the state government will transfer the amount of the midday meal to the beneficiaries’ bank account since the schools will remain closed.
On top of that, the annual Divas of Bihar celebrations scheduled for March 22 have also been postponed until further notice.
The state government has also ordered the closure of more than 1.5 lakh of Aanganwadi Kendras until further notice.
The government has said it will not organize any sporting events until March 31. All government parks and botanical gardens would also remain closed during this period.
The chief secretary said the state government is considering asking government employees to come to the office every alternate day to avoid a crowded atmosphere in the offices.
He said that although there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 in Bihar so far, the government has decided to add hundreds of more ventilators to public hospitals.
Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar informed that the state government has also ordered to intensify vigilance at the Indo-Nepal border and to carry out more medical checks of people in the border areas.
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